Guide

Transport insurance

Benefits of insuring goods in transit

If you're moving goods to or from the UK, it's advisable to ensure there is adequate insurance cover. This safeguards against the risk that goods may be lost, damaged or delayed because you can claim compensation if there's any resulting financial loss to your business.

Cargo insurance

A typical cargo insurance policy covers goods in transit via road, rail, sea or air. In its simplest form it provides cover against accidental damage and other risks. The other extreme is a comprehensive all-risk policy, covering a range of specified accidents - including damage during loading, theft and negligence.

The cost of your insurance and in which circumstances you'll receive compensation will depend on:

  • the value of the goods in transit
  • the expiry date of the insurance policy
  • whether the journey is domestic or international

Limited liability

Without insurance you have only the minimum protection for your goods because freight forwarders and carriers typically have limited liability in the event of loss, or damage or delay. This comes from internationally ratified conventions - see your bill of lading or sea waybill for details - and the standard trading conditions of transport associations.

Different guidelines apply to different transportation:

The consequences of not insuring your goods

Many events can occur during transit that could lose you money if you're uninsured. For example, your haulier may be involved in an accident whereby your goods are destroyed, or your goods might be stolen. The result can be loss of profits, productivity and buyer goodwill. You can minimise the impact of such incidents on your business by being properly insured.